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"Revolutions is better than many of the summer's action blockbusters," says J. Robert Parks (The Phantom Tollbooth), who offers the most positive review of the bunch. "The acting is good across the board … and the movie attempts to offer a commentary on our world and will certainly provoke some discussion. The movie's potentially Christian allegory will inspire many a late-night argument. Unfortunately, the movie itself doesn't inspire much else." At the same site, Trae Cadenhead calls it "conclusive yet unsatisfying."
Andrew Coffin (World) says, "The philosophical depths at which the first film hinted turn out to be as artificial and overblown as the special effects that have defined the series. But audiences are unlikely to care much after wasting two hours with this derivative, repetitive, mess of a film."
"[It] gets right a lot of what its predecessor got wrong," writes Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films). "But The Matrix Revolutions hardly makes a convincing existentialist tract. For that matter, it hardly makes a convincing conclusion to the Matrix trilogy. I would rather think of [it] not as the conclusion of a trilogy per se, but as part a of misguided two-part sequel to an original, groundbreaking film."
"Who'd have thought that when it was all said and done, The Matrix would turn out to be about love?" asks Steven Isaac (Plugged In). "Revolutions leaves moviegoers with the indelible impression that love conquers all." But he concludes, "Don't let flimsy allusions to theological truth inspire you to see this chaotically violent head trip."
"The film never pays off," writes D. J. Williams (Christian Spotlight). "Though there is no doubt that Revolutions is a spectacular achievement in action films, as the end of an epic trilogy it is found significantly lacking. Though I'm sure the ending makes perfect sense to the Wachowskis … they forgot to tell the rest of us exactly what it means—leading to a conclusion that leaves viewers feeling cheated."
Steve Lansingh (The Film Forum) says, "The Matrix was a film that helped enrich my conception of a human being living with saviorhood looming over him. But by the time we get to Revolutions, Neo stoically heads off on his preordained path with virtually no emotion; the script told him what to do and so he's doing it. The Wachowski brothers seem to be involved mainly in universe-building, in expanding the palette of places and people in their fiction. Their main story—the one about overcoming our human resistance to belief, to prophecy and destiny—fades away."
My full review is at Looking Closer.
For an interesting, and humorous, comparison of the three Matrix films, look at the compare/contrast chart posted at Metaphilm.
from Film Forum, 11/20/03
The Matrix Revolutions continued to catch flack from Christian film critics. Frederica Matthewes-Green (Our Sunday Visitor) says, "I find myself in one accord with the sentiment spoken in awe-filled tones during the concluding moments of the film: 'It doesn't make any sense.' All Matrix Revolutions has going for it is immense special effects."